Bankers Like Us
Dispatches from an Industry in Transition
This book will resonate with anyone no matter where you reside on this journey, whether newbie or old guard. If you want to be part of this change, you need to understand all about the messy middle that Leda so expertly describes in this book. If you read this book and it doesn’t resonate, then I suggest you think about stepping aside. — Curt Queyrouze, President, Coastal Community Bank
The world is going digital, and so is banking—in fits, starts, and circles. Why is it so hard? Why is the industry constantly getting in the way of its own technological progress and what can we do about it all? This book looks at the human and structural obstacles to innovation-driven transformation and at the change in habits, mindsets and leadership needed for the next stage of the digital journey and argues that this change will be brought about, not by external heroes and saviours, not by a generation yet to be born, but people just like us. People who understand the industry and its quirks. Bankers who have the grit, determination and energy to drive change. Bankers like us.
This book celebrates and chronicles the shared experience of bankers like us. It starts with a ‘this is who we are’ piece, including the author’s trench credentials. It then presents an overview of corporate culture (this is what we deal with and a few ideas on how to handle it), as well as a piece on why transformation is so difficult and so many get it wrong; a piece on the challenges our lack of diversity brings or compounds, and a hopeful look-ahead on what a team of principled, dedicated folks can do despite everything.
Table of Contents
1. FinTech, Bad Habits and Great People: The Main Ingredients of the Story Ahead
2. Why This, Why Now and Why Working Towards a Big Dream Doesn’t Feel Big and Dreamy
3. Bankers Behaving Badly
4. Painting by Numbers: Diversity, Innovation and Why Lip Service Won’t Move the Needle
5. Fierce Grace: What Drives Us On, Despite Our Bad Habits and Demographic Constraints
6. So (Now) What?
Leda Glyptis is the author of the LedaWrites Fintech Futures column and regular contributor at industry events and publications. She is a lapsed academic and a recovering banker, having worked in ‘incumbent banks’ across various geographies and functions including innovation, IT and Operations. Most recently, Leda works as an executive with challenger banking software providers, rewriting the fabric of financial services. She is Chief Client Officer at 10x and has served at 11FS Foundry, QNB, Sapient and BNY Mellon. She holds an MA from King’s College Cambridge and an MSc and PhD from the London School of Economics.
"I know I will read this again. And again. I need it as a reminder in the work ahead…."—Trygve Aasheim, Lead Architect, Technology and Digital Channels, Corporate Banking, DNB
Bankers Like Us is about love and innovation at the Fintech Frontier of an inhospitable industry: banking.—Ronit Ghose, Future of Finance Head, Citibank N.A.
"An insightful read, based on lessons learned over a long career driving change in and outside the banking industry. Leda dives deep into the plumbing – systems, processes and culture – in large organisations, uncovering legacy tech and legacy mindsets with humour and humanity. These are real-world problems with real-world solutions from an expert in digital transformation."—Joy Macknight, Editor, The Banker
"In banking, we are in that rare moment of time where worlds are colliding. As Leda writes "The challenge is that up until now, the industry has evolved. Now it has to transform." As a long-time banker and newly-minted digital transformation leader, I know too well that years of ‘existing’ in banking created strong muscle memory that now thrashes against the pace of change. It pulls us back to what feels familiar and comfortable. This opportunity for transformation isn’t about new ways of doing the old things, but more about completely new models of how serve the customer, and how we do so with completely new profit schemes. This book will resonate with anyone no matter where you reside on this journey, whether newbie or old guard. If you want to be part of this change, you need to understand all about the messy middle that Leda so expertly describes in this book. If you read this book and it doesn’t resonate, then I suggest you think about stepping aside. As Leda explains, this change will need all sorts of talent and skills all the way down to the "friends in low places," but the one big thing to remember is this transformation is coming and won’t care if you don’t buy in."—Curt Queyrouze, President, CCBX, A Division of Coastal Community Bank
"With personal and professional experiences beautifully weaved throughout, the book shares – in the most relatable way – that you don’t need to compromise your principles to achieve business results, and that you don’t need to sacrifice business aspirations to be a decent human being. Leda’s narrative exquisitely captures so many of the industry’s ideas and its participants’ contemplations."—Tanya Andreasyan, Editor-in-Chief, FinTech Futures